For the past several years there has been a growing need for financial planners across the country, and the higher education community is taking steps to address that need. With the baby boomer generation entering retirement – including financial planners who themselves are retiring in ever-increasing numbers – the demand for younger qualified advisors is increasing exponentially. As a result, colleges and universities across the United States are implementing brand new financial advisement curriculums and programs in an effort to prepare students for a career specifically in the field of financial planning.
The growth and expansion of such programs has been strong, and increasing in number with each passing academic year. Representatives of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, which sets the standards within the profession and certifies higher education institutions to teach courses in the field of financial planning, have stated that in the last ten years more and more university administrators have begun to embrace the demand for the programs and certifications. Despite the tremendous growth in programs across the country, however, the numbers are actually relative. As it stands right now, just over two educational institutions per state offer financial planner degrees.
Even the largest programs in the most prestigious colleges and universities only graduate about 30 or so students every year – 15 per semester. That is to say nothing of the smaller schools which graduate far fewer than that. That equates to a national average of less than 1,000 financial planning graduates every year – 500 per semester.
These numbers leave industry experts expecting a shortage of nearly a quarter million advisors over the next ten years, numbers which are hardly enough to meet the growing demand. The increasing number of colleges and universities offering these programs certainly helps, but it is clear to industry experts that something else must be done in order to preserve the financial planning profession over the next 10 to 20 years.